Pharmacy workers at Bay of Plenty DHB who are members of APEX are set to go on strike this week in an effort to advance negotiations of their collective agreement.


“This is about equity,” says APEX Pharmacy Advocate Denise Tairua. “Pharmacy workers who are members of APEX work alongside their colleagues doing the same work for less pay. The DHB can afford to pay these staff the same rates as their colleagues, and indeed would have to do so if they were to switch to the other collective agreement that covers pharmacy workers.”


The latest offer from the DHB sees APEX pharmacy members being paid the same as their colleagues over a year after they have received the same rates. This was after over 6 months of negotiations with the DHB that saw pharmacy workers working through the first wave of COVID-19.


“Pharmacy workers have been more than patient with the DHB in allowing them to present a suitable offer and now feel the only option left is to partially withdraw their labour to get the DHB to reconsider their position.” Tairua added.


The strike will cover pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants, and pharmacy interns working at both Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals. The partial strike action will run from Wednesday 2nd September until Wednesday 9th of September.




Contact: Denise Tairua

Pharmacy National Advocate


Phone: (09) 526 0280

What does a Pharmacist do?

The overarching responsibility of a pharmacist is to ensure medication is appropriate & safe for a patient.  This can be done in various ways which include assessing the individual patient as to whether the drug, route, frequency and dose is appropriate or if it requires modifying. The pharmacist will check for drug interactions, co-morbidities and presenting condition.

Pharmacists also provide advice to patients, caregivers and other healthcare professionals on medicines.

In hospital, a pharmacist can have many different roles, such as a clinical pharmacist who works with patients & other healthcare professionals on the wards & in clinics – being a pharmacist-prescriber or working as a specialist pharmacist within a speciality such as oncology, cardiology, clinical trials or surgery.  They are also involved in the supply of medicines from the dispensary or a sterile or non-sterile manufacturing area.

What does a Pharmacy Technician do?

In a hospital pharmacy, duties may include the processing of prescriptions and dispensing of medicines, stock imprest management, repacking bulk medicines, monitoring and delivery of medication to hospital wards and departments.

Pharmacy technicians deal with hazardous substances, compounding cytotoxic medicines, suspensions, ointments and creams under the supervision of pharmacists.

A pharmacy technician should have a good knowledge of the human body and the pharmacology for a wide range of body systems and may also provide written and oral advice on the use of dispensed medicines and dose forms

A hospital trained pharmacy technician may also work in a ward setting, performing medicine reconciliation on admission and discharge. This entails speaking with the patient to obtain a thorough medication history, giving medicine information to patients, liaising with medical staff and working alongside the pharmacist as part of the team.

Contact APEX